Session: #226

Theme & Session Format

5. Climate Change and Socioenvironmental Perspectives
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Foreign vs Local in Medieval and Modern Age Foodways in the Baltic Sea Region
The Medieval Period in the Baltic Sea region witnessed new power structures, growth of human population, urbanisation, and variability in cultures that brought along a growing and changing need for food resources – processes that continued into the post-medieval era as well. In addition, these socio-environmental transformations were most probably influenced by the oscillations in the natural environment and climate (e.g. Little Ice Age, modifications in land use, etc.). Trade, marine fishing, and animal husbandry expanded in order to provide both local and foreign goods. In order to explore the foodways of people living in the 13th–19th century around the Baltic Sea and understand the extent and importance of imported food vs that of local origin, we invite presentations discussing small- and large-scale developments in animal husbandry at that time and the exploitation of food resources visible in both zooarchaeological and human osteological material. Applications of zooarchaeological (food remains, animal husbandry), biomolecular (ancient DNA, stable isotopes), anthropological (human pathologies, population studies), archaeological (artefacts related to food processing and trade), and written sources (recipes, visual data, account books) are the core of this session. In addition to regional insights based on local materials and research questions, parallels and patterns between the areas around the Baltic Sea and beyond would be of most interest.
zooarchaeology, human osteology, diet, Middle Ages, Early Modern Period
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Main organiser:
Eve Rannamäe (Estonia) 1
Lembi Lõugas (Estonia) 2
László Bartosiewicz (Sweden) 3
1. Department of Archaeology, Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu
2. Archaeological Research Collection, Tallinn University
3. Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University